Northumbria officers prepare for Royal Marine challenge

A Cheviots challenge awaits the participants
A Cheviots challenge awaits the participants

Brave participants will be replicating a challenge faced only by Royal Marine Commando recruits in the Cheviots next month - and they are calling for more gung-ho adventurers to join them.

On Saturday, September 2 , 34 participants will set off at dawn on a 30 mile 'yomp' across the rugged Northumberland moors. The challenge, nicknamed “COPS 30 miler”, will replicate the infamous 30 mile trek across Dartmoor that Royal Marines recruits must complete before being awarded their sought-after green beret.

Two charities will benefit from the participants' endeavours, with funds split between the Care of Police Survivors charity (COPS), along with the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund (RMCTF).

The 34 strong team and 50 Royal Marines will climb more than 1,015 metres of ascent, just shy of the height of Ben Nevis, the UK's highest peak. Their journey will begin at Kirknewton, transit around the Cheviot and finish at Clennel Hall, Alwinton. Each participant will carry up to 40lbs, or the weight of a black bear, in their bergen. With such an arduous challenge planned, Royal Marines combat medics and a support vehicle will follow the course alongside participants.

Seven Northumbria Police officers will take part, including Chief Inspector Lee Gosling, who founded the event alongside serving officer Inspector Simon Guilfoyle of West Midlands police. Lee said: "The COPS 30 miler will be as close as it gets to the final Commando Test that Royal Marine recruits must complete to pass out of training. We're hoping to finish the challenge in under eight hours but that really is weather-dependent. This is the second year that I’ll have undertaken this challenge but it won't be any easier. To carry that amount of weight, at that pace, across such extreme terrain took a huge amount of determination.

"In 2016 over £5,000 was raised in total, which is testament to the dedication of those who took part and put such effort into fundraising for two very worthwhile causes.”

Registration is still open for the challenge, and Chief Inspector Gosling is encouraging others to join them for a good cause.

"We'd love to see more people come on board to raise money for these two fantastic charities," he said.

You can find out more and register your interest at www.cops30miler.org/